Events: Dirty Dancing Comes to the Cliffs

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Having the Time of His Life – Essex lad Lewis Griffiths takes the lead in the theatre production’s latest UK tour

Dancing its way to Southend Cliffs Pavilion this month is one of the best stage shows around. Dirty Dancing based on the cult classic movie has been wowing audiences on its UK tour and due to overwhelming demand for tickets more dates have been added including from 10-21 January at the Cliffs.

Its original opening at London’s Aldwych Theatre in 2006 saw it become the longest running show in the theatre’s history played to over two million people during its five-year run.

The UK tour sees Lewis Griffiths takes the lead as Johnny Castle alongside Katie Hartland as Baby Houseman.

Lewis, 31, has lived all his life in Benfleet and considers Southend-on-Sea his hometown – so this is a welcome return back to Essex after touring in cities such as Manchester, Blackpool and Liverpool.
Having toured extensively with various theatre shows including Ghost – The Musical, Legally Blonde – The Musical and Jersey Boys,

Lewis auditioned for Dirty Dancing, four years ago but was doing Jersey Boys at the time, his ‘dream job’. When the opportunity came up once again he wasn’t sure if he wanted to do it. He had put it on the backburner and forgot about it as at that time had no desire in touring again.

However, that was then and this is now and he took the
role for this new UK tour in June last year and hasn’t looked back.

All the hits that we love to sing-along to – Hungry Eyes, Hey! Baby and Do You Love Me? are just some of the highlights in this heart-pounding musical which focuses on the story of Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman who learns some major lessons in life as well as a thing or two about dancing when she stumbles across an all-night party at the staff quarters and catches sight of Johnny Castle, the resort dance instructor.

“It is by far the hardest, physically exerting things I have ever done,” he admits. The show has an all-new set design, all-new directorial approach, new choreography – it is the same story but everything has been tweaked – it is said to be the best production by far.”

Performing to the notable soundtrack surely he has a favourite song? “Everytime I hear ‘Time of My Life’ my blood runs cold as I know I have to do that lift,” he says laughing. “I also love the nostalgic tones of Hungry Eyes.

“We have had some amazing audiences so far and being from Southend I am really looking forward to taking the show there and that the Southend crowd gets behind us.”

Dirty Dancing is on at the Cliffs Pavilion Southend from 10-17 January, 2017. For tickets call the box office 01702 351135 or visit the website www.thecliffspavilion.co.uk. For more information on the Dirty Dancing tour visit: www.dirtydancingontour.com

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